Meditation is one of the most effective ways to calm the mind. There are many benefits to having a regular daily meditation practice. Meditation has been shown to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve emotional wellbeing
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce age-related symptoms including those related to dementia
- Control pain
- Improve sleep
- Increase attention span
- Reduce symptoms from chronic disease
- Improve mental acuity and focus
- Foster resilience to stressful situations
There are many different types of meditation, in fact, too many to mention. However, the following is a short list of some you may want to explore as you cultivate a meditation practice. There is no one size ts all meditation practice. It is a matter of preference. Some find being guided in a meditation works well to help keep their thoughts at bay. Others may find silent meditation bring about peace and calm.
- Guided Meditation – that is narrated where the guide walks you through the process, such as in guided imagery. Guided meditations can be found on YouTube, cell phone apps, and on dierent meditation sites. They are helpful for those who are just starting a meditation practice.
- Walking Meditation – involves being mindful during every step and paying attention to your surroundings. If you are walking outdoors in nature, a walking meditation will include paying attention to every sound while paying attention to your feet touching the ground and every sensation you are experiencing along the way.
- Loving-Kindness Body – involves gratitude and appreciation for one’s own self as well as other beings. Loving-kindness meditation fosters self-compassion and helps reduce fear and criticism.
- Body Scan Meditation – brings awareness to every area of the body while acknowledging and accepting the physical sensations along the way.
- Silent Meditation – one where you go deep within while focusing on the breath. A silent meditation may begin with a contemplative thought or prayer, and then sitting in God’s presence.
No matter what type of meditation you experience, what often works well is setting an intention to release your thoughts and worries before going into that space of peace and calm. The process helps you to release any attachment to the outcome of your experience, and allows you to go into meditation with a beginner’s mind with no expectations.